School Updates Monday 8th June 2020

Dear families and friends of Instow,

We have seen a successful first day of school expanding its numbers to accommodate pre-school children in the parish hall; reception children and year one children, as well as maintaining a service to the children of critical workers in our community.

The organisation has been challenging but we're getting there. We now have an established home-learning team headed up by Mrs Brewer; these staff will maintain responses and dialogue with the children learning at home for the time-being while many of our teachers are now running limited sized teaching groups on the school site. Both in school and at home, we are all following the two-weekly planning that has been sent out to you.

I attempted an assembly from my office using Google Meet today - try sharing your screen and then loading the image from an ipad in each classroom onto the smartboards! Oh my word! Another challenge to improve, especially with wifi from the top of a Devon hill!

This has clearly been a time when we have all been challenged but I know with your support we are working towards a level of normality for those children able and eligible to attend school.

Mrs Slater will be sending out a survey to parents of Year 6 pupils this week, in order for us to gauge the next step of having our beloved Year 6 pupils on site - the surveys returned are vitally important as we can then plan whether we have to go to a part-time timetable, dependent on numbers. We are planning for Year 6 pupils to return from Monday 22nd june BUT must have replies to the Year 6 survey before we make further plans.

Please be reassured that using our Google surveys are very important to us, rather than individual phone calls and emails requesting places. It does create additional work for everyone when we have to strictly plan for eight pupils per group for the time-being; we hope this may change, but is dependent on H&S guidance on social distancing for adults.

In other news - Our wonderful Mrs Trudi Elphick, who works to support children in Reception Class 1, has made a very difficult decision to spend more time with her family, travelling between Staffordshire and Devon. While she loves our school very much and has been a most important part of our team, nurturing everyone along the way, she will be leaving us at the end of June. We shall miss her dearly and want to give her a good send off - albeit virtually! If you wish to contribute towards a thank gift that will help their self-sufficiency life we'll be sending out further information in the next week or so. It's not compulsory but I know many families would like to know how to contribute their gratitude.

Many of you have given us positive feedback when you have attended our Family Workshops during the time your child has been in Reception class over the past three years. I know our staff have really enjoyed delivering the materials and spending time with you. If you are interested in further quality parenting skills courses online, please read your Parentmail sent out on 8th June with information for free places for parents. Please do read through the materials and apply to take part, as they are highly recommended. There is even a course for impending teenagers for our Year 6 parents!!

That's it for now, please take care of yourselves and I'll email you soon with any further information. We are in school if you want to call for any clarification.

All the best, Mrs Knight and team xx